White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Blondies

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Blondies

Hello Everyone! Wow! I can’t believe that it’s the last day of November today! Once again, another month managed to slip right under our noses! Christmas is nearing, and in the blink of an eye, it will be 2017! Anyway, I’m not going to give a brief recap of my year just yet – I’ll probably save that for sometime in December – I’ll just give you a recap of my week as it was indeed a busy one! Firstly, I have been home alone for the past 5 nights as my Mom and my sister flew off on Friday to visit the other sibling over in Singapore. Secondly, I had two back-to-back events that I helped with the event decorations for, one was Phantom of the Opera themed (but very minimal/close to none on the decorations that actually resembled anything from Phantom of the Opera), and the other was an Alice and Wonderland/Enchanted Forest themed Staff Appreciation Night. I had loads of fun designing the initial proposal for the decorations, and of course helping with execution of the decorations onsite.

My next task, in terms of event decoration is to propose and present to the client, the theme ‘The Chronicles of Narnia; The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe’ for a corporate 25th Anniversary Dinner coming up in mid-January. The presentation will be on Friday and I’m both excited and nervous at the same time; fingers-crossed that they will like my idea and that they see the underlying meaning of the chosen theme. Other than work, I scored VIP tickets from my Boss to watch Coreyah and JinJo Crew perform at The Rhythm of Korea on Saturday night. It was a free event hosted by the Korean Embassy here in Brunei as a sort of launching of their moving in to their new Embassy which will happen sometime in December if I’m not mistaken – so yes, this was an early celebration for the general public.

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Blondies

A cross between a chewy blondie and moist butter cake, these blondies are studded with white chocolate chips and ribboned with sweet cinnamon sugar! — Sally’s Baking Addiction

But enough of the long-winded, personal life stories and let’s move on to tonight’s recipe shall we? So, I think you guys can probably tell that this is another recipe followed and adapted from none other than Sally’s Baking Addiction. I honestly think that the theme for this November shouldn’t have been ‘Cooking with Chocolate’ but rather Sally-themed instead haha! Anyway, I don’t actually have much to say for this recipe as it was kind of just a I-need-to-bake-something-for-my-blog-but-what-should-I-bake kind of moment early on the Sunday morning before I went grocery shopping to make sure I had all the ingredients. I came across this recipe while browsing and I thought that it’d be interesting to make.

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Blondies Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 30-35 MINS | SERVES 12-15 BARS

INGREDIENTS

For the blondies

  • 2 & 1/3 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large free range eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the cinnamon-sugar filling

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Line a 9×9, 11×7, or 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on the sides to easily pull the blondies out of the pan and cut once done.
  2. Combine the plain flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl, then set aside. Beat the unsalted butter on high speed using a hand or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, in a large bowl. Beat for at least 1 minute until creamy, and then add in the granulated and brown sugars, beating for 2 full minutes on high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl when needed.
  3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla on high speed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients until just combined. With a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the white chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon half the batter into pan. It will be a relatively thin layer, but try to spread it across the pan evenly. Combine the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle on top of them bottom layer, reserving 1 tbsp for the top. Spread the remaining batter over top. Some of the cinnamon-sugar will mix into the top layer as you spread it, which is fine. Sprinkle the top with remaining cinnamon-sugar.
  5. For a 9×9 or 11×7 baking pan, bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. For a 9×13, bake 22-26 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool completely for about 1 hour.

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Blondies

These bars can be made 3 days in advance and kept in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve. Bars freeze well, up to 3 months. Simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. Leftover bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature for up to 1 week.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

White Chocolate & Macadamia Red Velvet Cookies

White Chocolate & Macadamia Red Velvet Cookies

Hello Everyone! I don’t think I ever mentioned it in the past 3 posts for the month of November, but I’m pretty sure that most of you who follow my blog are smart little ducklings and have already probably figured out that the theme for Amcarmen’s Kitchen this month is all about Procrastibaking – well, really, not really. The theme isn’t just centred around baking, but it is most definitely about baking with… CHOCOLATE! How did I come up with this month’s theme you ask (well if you didn’t ask then read ahead hehe), I wanted to bake a Chocolate cake for my birthday this month, and I had two chocolate-linked recipes sitting in my archives waiting to be post up on my blog, and so… Baking with Chocolate came into play!

Or you could probably just say that I’ve been lazy and haven’t been in the mood to cook on Sundays for the past few weeks – which is partially true. It’s not that I was being lazy – it was more like I wanted to have a Sunday to myself doing whatever I want, meaning doing nothing actually *cheeky grin* instead of slaving away in the hot kitchen the whole afternoon. I’ve probably mentioned this in a post before, but for those of you who don’t know, I work 6 days a week from 8am to 5pm. By Sunday, all I want to do is just sit back and do nothing, however, if I did do that, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with Amcarmen’s Kitchen any longer.

White Chocolate & Macadamia Red Velvet Cookies

Anyway, enough of my rants, let’s move on to tonight’s recipe – an adaptation from none other than my favourite baker out there, Sally’s Baking Addiction. You can find the original recipe for these cookies over on her blog. If you went over to visit her blog, you’d notice that they are actually Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I decided to do a little twist and use white chocolate chips instead and pair them with macadamia nuts! The perfect combination in my opinion! I’d like to take this opportunity to share a recipe by a friend of mine, also known as Brendon The Smiling Chef, for his “I Love You This Much” Giant Red Velvet Cookie. I remember the time we met up and cooked together for my Auguest series last year, Brendon baked a Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie from the left over cookie dough he had from his “Cookies & Cream” inspired dessert. I think I might bake a Giant Cookie for next week actually!

White Chocolate & Macadamia Red Velvet Cookies Ingredients

White Chocolate & Macadamia Red Velvet Cookies

PREP TIME 1 HOUR 10 MINS* | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 18 COOKIES

*Includes chilling time

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 & 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp plain flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 cup semi-sweet white chocolate chips (plus a few extra for after baking)
  • 3/4 cup packed light (or dark) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 115g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 large free range egg, room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp red food colouring
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together until incorporated well. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the softened butter using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. When necessary, scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Add in the brown and granulated sugar, beating until combined and creamy, about another minute. Then, beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Once mixed, add the food colouring and beat until combined.
  3. Turn the mixer off and pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Turn the mixer on and slow beat on low speed until a very soft dough is formed. Beat in more food colouring if you’d like the dough to be a brighter red.
  4. Add in the white chocolate chips, and roughly chopped macadamia nuts and use a spatula to combine with the dough mixture. At this point, the dough will be sticky.
  5. Cover the dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days). Chilling is mandatory.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4) (177°C). Line two large baking trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
  7. Scoop about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball, as pictured above. Place 9 balls onto each baking sheet and bake each batch for about10-11 minutes. The cookies may have only spread slightly and that’s ok. Simply press down on the warm cookies to slightly flatten and form crinkles. Stick a few chocolate chips into the tops of the warm cookies (optional and only for looks).
  8. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool down completely. Enjoy and share with family and friends!

White Chocolate & Macadamia Red Velvet Cookies

White Chocolate & Macadamia Red Velvet Cookies

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Hello Everyone! For those who follow me on my personal social media pages will most definitely know that I’ve probably celebrated my turning of a quarter of a century one too many times that I guess an average person would celebrate their birthday. To quote a friend “[I] only turn 25 once” I think she meant that in a way that I probably had too many celebrations – but of course I’m going to take that as yes, I only turn 25 once so I’m going to go all out and use my birthday as an excuse to eat all the cake and food without feeling guilty *cheeky grin* Okay, so it’s been exactly a week now since I turned 25 so I guess it’s only fair to put a cease to the celebrations and start hitting the gym to burn off all the cake (3 cakes in total to be honest).

That aside, tonight’s recipe that I will be sharing is one that I whipped up last year for Christmas. I baked a batch of soft, chewy Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies long with some traditional Sugar Cookies to take to the office with me on Boxing Day, to share with my colleagues – I know right. I’m so nice. Anyway, you might realise  in the photos that the cookies may look like they have a hint of red to them – well, I tried adding a little bit of red food colouring (what I had left of it anyway) to make it look like a red velvet crinkle cookie, but I guess I didn’t have enough coloring for it to really shine through.

Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies IngredientsOh you know – just my little owly friend that also happens to be one of my measuring spoons basking in a bowl of flour mixture.

Anyway! Before I head onto the recipe, please take the time to check out the original over on Sally’s Baking Addiction. I think I have said this before, but nonetheless, I will say it again. Sally’s recipes are definitely spot on and easy to follow. I don’t think that I’ve ever screwed up a recipe of hers when in the kitchen myself. Somewhere in the past, I attempted to bake crinkle cookies after seeing my Aunt post her cookies on her Facebook page. I followed a recipe, not Sally’s of course and they ended being a total FAIL. I was so sad because I had baked them to share with friends – which I did anyway, and I think they were just being nice and said that the cookies were ‘still’ good haha.

Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Ingredients

PREP TIME 3 HOURS 30 MINS* | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 20 COOKIES

*Includes chilling time – it is highly recommended that you chill the cookie dough for at least 3 hours. The longer, the better! Chilling helps the flavors to develop, prevents spreading, and makes the otherwise sticky cookie dough easy to handle.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, levelled
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, for rolling
  • 1/2 cup & 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 180g Belgian dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 115g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 large free range egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

METHOD

  1. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the butter in a large mixing bowl for about 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Then, add in the granulated sugar and brown sugar, continuing to beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and light in colour. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Set aside.
  2. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Switch to high speed and beat in the roughly chopped Belgian chocolate. At this point, the cookie dough will be sticky. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough.
  3. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes; if the cookie dough was chilled longer than 3 hours, then let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
  4. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, and then set aside.
  5. Scoop and roll the dough, about 1.5 tbsp of dough each, into balls. Roll each ball generously in the confectioners’ sugar and place them on the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake the cookies for about 8-9 minutes. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet; they will slightly deflate as you let them cool. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled, enjoy and share with family and friends!

Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. Baked cookies freeze well – up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls (that are not coated in confectioners’ sugar) freeze well – up to three months. Coat the frozen cookie dough balls in confectioners’ sugar, then bake for about 10 minutes. No need to thaw them.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

Hello Everyone! It’f finally November which means, other than a new theme on the blog as usual, it is also my birthday month! I’ll be 25 in exactly a week and I’ve got a few get-togethers planned with family, friends, and colleagues. I actually baked these cupcakes last year for my Manager’s birthday. The week before her birthday I shared the leftover red velvet cupcakes that I had baked for halloween with my colleagues. When I offered her the cupcakes, she told me that she didn’t like red velvet, and that chocolate was more her thing. So, my colleagues told me that I should bake her some chocolate cupcakes for her birthday. I’m not sure if she liked them, but my colleagues and I definitely did!

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes  are not overly sweet, but rather deep and intense in pure chocolate flavour. They are dark chocolate cupcakes with a thick dark chocolate frosting on top and sprinkled with dark chocolate shavings. The mixture of melted chocolate and cocoa powder to make these cupcakes ultra fudgey, rich, and moist. Are you salivating yet? Well, if you aren’t then please go away – if you can’t salivate over fudgey dark chocolate cupcakes then we cannot be friends *cheeky grin*

Today is actually her birthday, and we tried to surprise her today which ended up being a massive fail. Well, it’s hard to surprise someone who already expects a surprise – my colleague was right, we should’ve just not surprised her as that would’ve been the ultimate surprise. She’ll probably get mad at us for forgetting, but then again she’ll definitely know that we didn’t forget and still expect a surprise in some way or another. Maybe that will be the plan for next year?

Anyway, Please take the time to check out the original recipe over on Sally’s Baking Addiction. Anyway, I don’t want to take you guys on a massive tangent so let’s move on to the recipe for tonight!

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes Ingredients

PREP TIME 12 MINS | COOKING TIME 18 MINS | SERVES 12 CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS

For the dark chocolate cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 60g semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature**
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the dark chocolate frosting

  • 2 & 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 95ml heavy cream
  • 90g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional

  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips or shaved dark chocolate for decoration

*Room temperature eggs are required for this recipe. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, put them in a glass of warm water for 5-10 minutes.

**Buttermilk is required for this recipe. If you do not have buttermilk, make your own by mixing 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice with 1/2 cup milk. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Line a 12-cup cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. For the cupcakes: Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between each time until smooth. Once smooth, set aside to slightly cool. You may also melt the butter and chocolate over low heat on the stovetop.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together, and then set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Then, add in the cooled butter and chocolate mixture, whisking until smooth. Add half of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk. Repeat until everything is added, stirring until just combined; be careful to not over mix otherwise the batter will be very thick like pudding. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way full with batter.
  5. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  6. For the frosting: Sift the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder together to assure there are no lumps, and then set aside.
  7. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sifted sugar and cocoa powder mixture alternately with the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed after each addition. Once all added, beat on high speed until creamy and combined for at least 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
  8. Frost the cooled cupcakes and top with chocolate chips or shaved dark chocolate as desired. Cupcakes stay fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Store covered in the refrigerator is desired for up to 1 week.
  9. Share and enjoy amongst family and friends!

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Lemon & Blueberry Layer Cake

Lemon & Blueberry Layer Cake

Happy Birthday Angela

Hello Everyone! Today won’t be a Review Sunday as I have a special post for you tonight! Today is my sister, Angela’s, 21st Birthday! I can’t believe that she is my not-so-little sister anymore! How time flies by so quickly. I’m glad that after 4 years of being away, I get to spend today with you! Hope you have the most wonderful of birthdays and hope you like my cake that I made for you! Lots of love, Ate Ally ❤

Lemon & Blueberry Layer Cake

I have never made this cake before, and unlike the original recipe, she uses plain all-purpose flour while I used plain wholemeal flour. The reason? I didn’t have enough plain flour and I didn’t want to go out to the grocers to buy more, plus I still had a brand new pack of wholemeal flour and decided to give that a go! It still tasted great, but the cake was a bit crumbly when I cut into it, but maybe it was because I may have over measured the flour a bit (as Sally says not to in her recipe… Oops)! Check out the original recipe from one of my favourite bakers: Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Lemon & Blueberry Layer Cake Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

For the cake batter

  • 230g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 large free range eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 cups plain wholemeal flour, sifted
  • 1 & 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp wholemeal flour
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground sea salt
  • Zest and juice of 3 medium-sized lemons

*Rather than purchasing a whole carton of buttermilk from the store and worrying about what to do with the leftovers before it starts to go bad in the fridge, making your own buttermilk is as simple as 1, 2, 3. Simply measure 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice (alternatively you can use white vinegar) in a measuring cup and then fill the rest up with full cream milk until you reach 1 full cup. Stir it around, let sit for 5 minutes, and it will be ready to use!

For the zesty cream cheese frosting

  • 1 package (250g) cream cheese, softened
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 & 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice

To decorate

  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Lemon slices and zest

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (about 350F or gas mark 4). With a little bit of butter, grease the bottom and sides of three 8.5-inch cake pans and set aside.
  2. Make the cake batter: Using a electric handheld or stand mixer beat the butter on high until creamy (takes about a minute), then add the granulated and brown sugars. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract, and beat on medium for a further 2 minutes until the mixture is well combined. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Set aside.
  3. In a separate medium-sized bowl, add the wholemeal flour, baking powder, and salt, and toss together. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed for about 5 seconds, and then add in the buttermilk, lemon juice, and zest. Remove from the mixer and stir lightly until everything is just combined.
  4. Spoon half of the batter evenly into the three prepared cake pans. If using frozen blueberries, do not thaw as they will bleed into your cake batter. Toss the blueberries in about a tablespoon of flour as well – this way they won’t burst inside and turn your cake purple. Divide the blueberries equally between the three cake pans. Top with the remaining batter equally between the three.
  5. Bake the three layers for about 21-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took about 30 minutes, and I even left it in the oven for a further 5 minutes with the heat off. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  6. Make the frosting: Using an electric handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter in a small bowl until smooth. Then beat in the confectioners’ sugar and a few frozen blueberries.
  7. Assemble: Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread with about 1/3 cup of frosting. Top with the second layer of cake and again spread with another third of the frosting. Top with the last layer and frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with fresh blueberries, lemon slices and zest, and a touch of confectioners’ sugar. Store in the fridge before serving. Enjoy!

Lemon & Blueberry Layer Cake Process

Lemon & Blueberry Layer Cake

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com